A note from our editors: 

It’s time for one of our favorite traditions! Each year, we spend the holidays reflecting on the stories and articles you loved most. It’s the “Best of Rue” and this is one of 2019’s top stories. Enjoy!

Previously published on August 27, 2019:

Respecting a home’s original architecture is always a significant concept within design. With newer homes, it’s harder to do so since builders often mix styles and influences. But when you’re lucky enough to come across a Tudor home from 1920, it would be a missed opportunity not to highlight its signature charm. That’s what Caitlin Sourapas did when her clients approached her with their newly purchased space in the Hollywood Hills. The 3000 sq. ft. space had many charming quirky details, but it had also had out-of-place Craftsman-style elements put into it by previous owners.

“Originally, the idea was to restore the spaces that had been stylistically misplaced from those that had lived there before so the inside of the house would once again reflect the vintage style of the Tudor exterior with an updated twist,” Caitlin explained. The home had original windows, bookshelves, and a 1920s built-in bar that gave it historical charm. Caitlin honored those features and added on to the concept with arched bookshelves in the master bedroom, creating a private living space as well as a bedroom for the homeowners. With trim around the kitchen cabinets, Caitlin re-designed the kitchen to have an English rather than Shaker style.

But although the aesthetics of this historical house were initially the main focus, as soon as they began to dig deeper into the project, they realized that it had serious structural issues. “The scope of work expanded very quickly,” she said, “an architect, structural engineer, and a months-long struggle with the city of Los Angeles later… the plans looked different, to say the least.” While this was at first a major let down, they soon found the silver lining: “It ended up being a blessing in disguise as time passed and we got to know the house and each other better. We were able to collaborate on many new and fun ideas and we took our time to watch the soul of the house take its shape again with its new owners.”

Once the house was safe for the family and the major interior design had been completed, Caitlin and the homeowners began to select the decor. “We found a huge resource through Blue Parakeet Rugs,” the designer shared, “the owner, Sheba, would come out to the house and bring her truck full to the brim with antique rugs of every size for us to play with and choose. There is an antique Persian rug from her in almost every single room of the house!” Caitlin added in a few more whimsical details such as the oversized floral wallpaper and enameled sink in the guest bathroom. “My vision for this home was one of stylish comfort with some antique and unexpected details, but how it turned out was so much more than that. It’s a one-hundred-year-old space that is now ready to witness its next chapter and keep standing in this iconic neighborhood for many years to come,” she said.